I'm Probably Fine

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An Elegy for Someone who is Only Half Dead

I went home that weekend

This first time they took you away

You’d landed new labels

Suicidal, Schizophrenic, Homicidal

No one remembered to add child to the end of it


The doctors said we should clean your room

No protests could have stopped mom

I’m sorry


The door,

Painted red with

“DO NOT ENTER

NO CIA

NO GHOSTS”

would have made me laugh

But I knew you meant it


You had my shirt in your drawer

Taking it back gave me hope

For a minute I felt like a normal sister

Trading clothes in secret behind each other’s backs


The bright pink plastic

Snapped me back into the damaged reality

I should have done something

I know you didn’t fall off the roof


The knives under your bed

And their blood companions

A reminder of the days they’d been used against me


You had posters up

maybe if the real you is still alive

It lives on those walls

Waiting to come back

Is that the ghost you’re keeping out?


I spent hours washing your clothes

But I knew they’d be tainted forever

With the smell of a sterile white room

Apple Juice

And chalky gray pills

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